This is widely regarded as the best self-sustaining trout water in the Michigan. With no impoundments and wadable water from Mancelona Road all the way to Smithville, this offers many miles of easy access, wadable, hatch water. Sand and gravel bottom and steady gradient make for good hatches from April through September. The upper “headwater” Manistee from Deward downstream to CO612 has good numbers of brook trout with higher concentrations of brown trout downstream of M72 to the CCC Bridge. The “Flies-Only” water offers some 15 miles of wadable, or floatable water. The “Flies Only” water is also open after general trout season as “catch and release only water”. “Upper Manistee” also includes water from Smithville to Hodenpyl Dam. This water is floatable with increasing numbers of warm water species downstream and some very large brown trout. Hatches include spring Hendrickson and black caddis in May, two sulfur mayflies in June, gray and brown drakes in late June, and the famous “Hex” hatch in late June and early July. Terrestrial fishing in July and August is excellent, with streamer fishing peaking in late September and October.